Saturday, June 30, 2007
and this is what makes it worthwhile for curtis... :) (he asked me to mention that this is a meager pike, shameful really, unworthy of a picture, and that he'll do much better next time. woe is him.)
Friday, June 29, 2007
this is the alley behind my old house where i rode my bike, first got flashed by a 10 yr old boy, caught fuzzy caterpillars and played indians with my friends...we even had full headdresses of magpie & bluejay feathers. ahhhh - those were the days. out in the morning, back for supper - lunch wherever we landed in between. mom didn't have to worry about not seeing me all day, because small prairie towns were safe, and neighbors kept an eye out.
this is the house of my childhood - 19 glory hills road. of course, my parents never put a fridge on the front porch, or used a sheet for a curtian...and mom did her standard lovely yard puttering... i remember it much bigger, of course, and the street much longer, but this is where i used to live. it was even the same color.
Thursday, June 28, 2007
Wednesday, June 27, 2007
and now i am going to bed. :)
You know, really, it’s a lesson in prayer. We, and our peeps, have all been praying so hard for our return to the US & our visa renewal, that everyone forgot to pray that we’d get OUT of the dang country!!
So… first of all, in all of our vast and varied conversations with the department of state, customs and border patrol, and USCIS, no one mentioned that The Girls would need passports. So we were turned away at the ticket counter, because they didn’t have them. Then, we had to call our friend John back to the airport, and while he returned, Curtis got directions to the closest postal office, where we could apply for passports for them – having been told that a receipt for said passport would be sufficient. That would be the first $200. Beautiful.
Obviously, we missed our first flight. So Curtis called the airline to rebook, only to be told that because it was so close to the flight time, we would have to go the airport. So we returned to the airport. Only to be told that the airport couldn’t do it, because it wasn’t a “real” Air Canada counter, and we needed to do it over the phone. Beautiful.
So, we went home. And Curtis talked to the airline the whole way home. They said there were NO flights for 4 days, and that our return flights were now invalid, because we had missed the first leg of the trip. After begging and pleading with a supervisor, he got our return flights reinstated, and a later flight for our first leg (Raleigh to Toronto), but was told there were no available “airmiles” flights from Toronto to Edmonton so we would have to find our own flights. That would the second purchase of the morning (needfully & thankfully sponsored by my mother-in-law!) … $1524. Beautiful.
At the post office, we were told that along with our passport receipts, The Girls would need birth certificates. I happened to have them, since I assumed that’s what they would need to cross the border, but they were mailed off with the applications. So at home, I found the duplicate of Meg’s, but not Kyra’s. Of course. So, we requested a duplicate online from the Florida Vital Statistics webpage, with a rush, delivered to our “vacation” address…for the low, low price of $52. Beautiful.
But, with a photocopied birth certificate (that we stopped on the way back to the airport to get notarized, in an effort to make it look less like we forged the damn thing), 2 receipts of passport, 2 expired visa’s stapled to valid passports, and more “e-tinerary” copies than I could possibly describe, here I sit, in the Toronto airport…through customs safely, waiting for our last flight, which will get us in 6 hours late, but get us there none the less.
There was one single, shining moment in my day:
They needed a volunteer to switch seats on our flight out of Raleigh, and they offered a free alcoholic beverage in return. Needless to say, I volunteered.
Monday, June 25, 2007
i will posting our canadian adventures (is that an oxymoron?), and have even packed my digicamera for pics! i know you can't wait! ha!
Sunday, June 24, 2007
you do know, don't you, that God can be found on a sunday morning outside of the walls of a building, right? like maybe down the road, on a harley...when you lift your arms over your head like a little kid, just to feel the air rushing over you; when you close your eyes and feel the motion of the road & wind; when you spot a doe & fawn in the bushes... it was impossible to feel anything but a giggle in my heart! under my big helmet i was grinning from ear to ear.
thanks, Dennis. i needed that this morning, more than i knew. one of the best sunday's ever. and thanks, Tracey, for sharing your sweet hubby with me for an hour! you guys rock.
i am going to learn to ride a bike when i get home from our trip...
Saturday, June 23, 2007
- tears in my eyes no less than 4 times
- turning it up because "hey! i like this song!"
- humming along and making up the words
- actually knowing the words, by the time i was driving home.
- thinking to myself, "why is everyone so down on country music? this is good stuff!"
on a completely different note - you have got to see this!
Friday, June 22, 2007
Thursday, June 21, 2007
today is the last full day in our week of freedom - a week without The Girls. this week i have...
- cleaned their rooms like demons - not a fun thing to do, but very needed & triumphant!
- seen 3 movies - spidey 3, hollywoodland, knocked up/fantastic 4 (i went with girls, he went with boys)
- had lunch at a swanky restaraunt - no prices on the menu!!
- had lunch with friends
- had dinner out with friends
- going for dinner out with friends tonight again
- slept in
- not cooked meals
- read a whole novel by my favorite author
- laid out in the sun
- walked, spur of the moment, with my friend
- answered approximately 117 phone calls from Meg - who was taught which number was speedial to mommy's and told to call any time. she never has anything to say, but she is commited to keeping in touch. (reminds me of me and my brother, with me in the role of "meg"....the poor boy)
- did a LOT of nothing! no groceries, no vacuuming, no cleaning (apart from monday), 2 days with no shower....
it has been the most relaxing week ever. and i am going to "suck the marrow" from this, my last day.
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
i am proud to say that i am the first person to ever buy a copy of his first book. am i the greatest sister, or what?!?! :)
Monday, June 18, 2007
Sunday, June 17, 2007
Friday, June 15, 2007
random gatherings from my road trip today -
- there's not much radio to listen to between west virginia & north carolina but country stations (my truck doesn't have a working cd player), and i finally heard "check you for ticks" and now i know what all the fuss is about! gotta say, i laughed out loud, and it *almost* made me want to buy the cd!
- driving in flip flops for 8 hours is not fun. my feet hurt. my calves ache. next time, real shoes.
- driving in pea soup fog is not fun, either. i travelled SEVENTEEN miles in SIXTY minutes. i could have gone faster, but traffic was a bi...well, you know...
Thursday, June 14, 2007
the curvaceous, robust & strong woman i used to admire (who didn't think she had a killer figure in "mr & mrs smith", or even "lara croft", if you must) seems to have joined 'the lollypop guild' - various tartlets & starlets with the "head on a stick" body type, living the weightloss lifestyle to everyone's detriment. oh, angie - why? you are better than this. i am saddened by this turn of events. and i am sick of every beautiful woman turning into this! who said that sticks are sexy? why? i could go on here - i have an entire soapbox rant at the tip of my fingers, but i will leave it at this for now, and save my ire for another day.
so, one of my very favorite books by one of my favorite authors is being made into a movie! "stardust" by neil gaiman is a "fairytale" i suppose, but it is the anti-fairy tale in terms of storytelling... there is nothing predictable or formulaic. the thing i love about him, (he wrote one of my all time favorite books, 'neverwhere'), is that he doesn't just insert fantastic (in the sense of being a fantasy) tales into our world, but is able to fully create a world that is ours, yet is fully not, for his stories to unfold in. best of all, he doesn't imagine himself into a corner, if you know what i mean. his books are completley outside of reality, but completley believable...and as someone who is not usually fan of his genre, i can tell you they are very well told!
such is the story of 'stardust' - a fiercely told story of a gentle boy trying to prove his love through a quest to find a fallen star. it's tricky, though, when a book gets made into a movie, especially a book you love and have read a half dozen times! i saw the preview and thought, "oh boy - neil gaiman must be ticked! that doesn't look like it's anything like the book!" but then i read the article on msn, and he quite loves it! so hopefully it's a case of the trailer skewing things to be more "intriguing"...
maybe you should see the movie - you should definitely read the book! :)
Wednesday, June 13, 2007
then you have the disdain of people around you... "you stay home?" i can't tell you how disheartening that is. it is another wound everytime someone makes a derisive comment. i blow it off with, "well, it would be illegal for me to have a job, since i only have a spousal visa." but it still hurts, right at the very heart of who i am. so right now, moment of truth out loud: i want to be here for my girls. even if i could work, i would choose a happy little part-time job, because my husband & i place a high value on having a parent at home for The Girls. (For the record - i know this is a luxury; that there are families who need both parents' income. i am not making any sort of statement against that!! i am just telling it how it is for us.)
the flip side of that coin is the occasional fear that i am wasting my life & my gifts/abilities/intellect. when i am objective, i see the things i do with my life - volunteering, my involvment at church, the freedom i have to help my friends, and not least of all the way i am able to raise my girls because i am here - are not wasted or thrown away. and i will only be 42 when Megan is 18, and that is a lot of life left. not to mention the options to study while they study, or working when they are older. much of this feeling comes from the aforementioned "looking down the nose" that stay at home moms find themselves faced with.
also, there is the whole "competitive mom" thing. but i feel like i've already been very clear on that subject in this forum.
so be nice to stay at home moms, ok? they've got more going on than you know - both internally & externally - and they willingly put aside a lot of their own dreams and plans to try to raise up human beings who will make the world better. it's a scary thing, and we deserve a break.
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
"Man… what a long, hard day. I think I may to have to lie down on the couch. I have really overdone it…I made a pie, I had some iced tea…phew! All the pressure & stress – really, it’s more than one person should have to bear. I was going to try to shower later, but if I have to squeeze one more thing into my day, I think I’ll explode! And the poor Girls! Forced to play outside, catching bugs and playing in the pool…what kind of life is that for a person? Especially a young one? If only I had a job in a fluorescently lit office somewhere, and they could be in some sort of daycare program - at least it would be something. But this? This is what our life has become?"
after i sent it, i strung up my hammock and laid in it while the girls set out "food" for the squirrels and drew on the driveway with chalk. i cannot tell a lie - it's a good gig, if you can get it.
Monday, June 11, 2007
look! look! this is my brother's book! it will be available at Barnes & Noble, as well as amazon, in a mere 48 hours! FOURTY-EIGHT HOURS! i couldn't be prouder, or more excited...it is a really great book! above all, through all the subjects & meters, it will make you feel. and that is a true gift. go order it - preferrably from your local B&N - and you can all tell me how much you love it, so i can tell Vince! :) you go, baby! i love you!
Saturday, June 09, 2007
i am a wife. and i do those things... sometimes. but more often that not, my husband gets up with the girls to make breakfast, because i am not a morning person. i get up once all the toast is on the table, and sit with The Girls, but i have a hard time figuring out the toaster before school. there are days i do not greet my husband at the door with a smile. from time to time, i feel like a wreck, and Curtis usually knows when i do. so does the bagger at the grocery store. i would worry and cry, with occasional bouts of courage and strength, if i were to be diagnosed with breast cancer. that song made me wonder why anyone would love me, if those were the standards to which wives & mothers are held.
how can i compete with that idea of what a wife/woman should be? where are the songs celebrating a woman who is like me? warm & funny, mercurial & head strong, vibrant & curious - a girl who falls apart sometimes, gets scared sometimes, laughs til she cries but has been known to just cry, feels overwhelmed, loves her friends and family but sometimes just wants them to leave her alone? a girl who can be very brave, but only when she tries really hard. who lives that stepford life? who is that stepford wife?
i hate that song.
Friday, June 08, 2007
today is the last day of school. and in honor of it, i was field trip mom...again. and i think i got a little sunburnt, but hey - it's the last day of school! hooray! some parents don't love the last day, but i do. i love the not having to make lunches or "get up and at 'em" in the morning. i love hanging out with The Girls, and having freedom to come and go as we please. to be sure, there are downsides...but they are outweighed by the good. and this summer we are busy beavers! our first sleep away camp, a trip to Canada, a visit to KY and one to my brother in OR... phew! school will be back before we know it! so i if you don't find me online, i am definitely in the backyard in my swimsuit, drinking soda through a straw and getting some sun while the girls play outside around me. life is good.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
Wednesday, June 06, 2007
happy wednesday to you all!
Tuesday, June 05, 2007
Monday, June 04, 2007
baby blaise is being remarkably good for a 2 year old...
curtis is a lovely, lovely boy....
talked to jordan & mark this morning...
jordan's book comes out this week! go order it from barnes & noble - 'death by love at first sight' by j.vincent elliott
i will get a nap this afternoon....
the week is starting off on a good note!
Sunday, June 03, 2007
love looks like a friend showing up at my door for no reason with an armful of roses, on a day that just so happened to be the very day i needed it most.
love looks like my husband helping me by wrangling 3 children into cleaning 3 rooms so messy i started to cry, and then going out for milk.
love looks like my brother offering me his airmiles to make a trip out to see him.
love looks like a friend using his connections to make my lifelong dream of anthem singing come true.
love looks like friends asking me about mark, and my trip, and entering into my joy with wide smiles and genuine interest.
love looks like my mom "singing my song" to me on the days when i have forgotten the words.
love looks like a hug from meg, with the words, "i'm sorry you are sad, mommy".
love looks like friends saying 'sure!' when i ask if they can watch The Girls for me, even for whole days at a time, when they all have their own lives full of craziness.
love looks like friends asking if they can come over after work just to listen to us, and pray for our immigration visas.
love looks like an email from someone who saw that i was not myself and cared enough to ask.
love looks like luaskya, casey, shanna, sabrina, curtis, jordan, mark, steve, marilyn, andrew, john, jaya, joey, brandy, sarah, meg, kyra, tracey, dennis, tamar, jennifer, leah, krii...and so, so many others. you fill my life with love. and i wanted you to know that i saw it, and am grateful for it. i love you, too.
Friday, June 01, 2007
i am trucking around for the next 5 days with my 2 year old nephew... keep your fingers crossed for me! :)